VA Hopes Data Thieves Are Stupid

from the one-way-to-protect-data dept

While there's been plenty of talk about how a VA employee brought lots of confidential personal data home with him only to have it all stolen in a burglary, some are noticing that the VA's response has been a bit odd. While they're giving the standard talk about how you should check your credit reports and watch for any suspicious activity, they're also going around and telling people they probably shouldn't worry because the thieves probably have no idea what they stole. Of course, now that they're blasting it all over the internet, perhaps the crooks will be alerted to what they stole. Either way, it seems like a pretty weak response to not protecting the data.

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  1. identicon
    Don, 23 May 2006 @ 10:35pm

    First, this is a prime example of why large scale data collections, especially by the government, is often a bad idea. No matter how good the tech, some human action, intention or otherwise will almost certainly comprise such data stores or leave them vulnerable to hacking.

    Secondly, the assertion in the story that there is no evidence the theft was intended for that data specifically makes me leary. Unless the employee frequently took home sensitive data (and without permission according to the story) I find the timing of the robbery suspect. "Amazing coincidences" tend to raise my BS radar. Also stealing a laptop I can understand, but stealing disks? Not likely unless they had good reason to know they might contain very valuable information (meaning they knew, or had word from someone who knew, the victim and what he did for a living).

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